FAQ

Our FAQ will give you some extra information on our intelligent software tools and their features & functions. If you have any questions regarding our products or our technology, we hope that you find the information here. If not, please do not hesitate and contact us at info@plus10.de

We are happy to help you.

Products: Shannon®, Darwin & Hopper

All plus10 software tools help to cope with a high level of complexity in production running in a multi-shift operation mode.

Depending on your needs you can select a suitable plus10-tool to tackle your specific production inefficiencies:

  • Shannon® helps you in case of breakdowns and technical downtimes.
  • Darwin continuously detects cycle time optimization potentials to increase performance during uptime either in interlinked and automated process chains or at least within 6 similar stand-alone machines. Those machines or production lines could also be located at different factories throughout the world.
  • Hopper decreases your scrap-rate in combination with cycle time if you worry about high scrap rate or in other words high non-conformity costs.

All plus10 software tools can only be used on fully automated production machines or production / assembly lines due to the fact that automatic data input is needed from each process step. Operators usually perform auxiliary tasks like re-filling or removing material as well as statistical process controls and troubleshooting in case of problems.

Shannon®, the operational shopfloor assistance, provides situational problem-solving recommendations for the employees at an automated production line. Hence the tool forms a continuously operating optimization control loop based on high-frequency machine controller data. Shannon® provides contextual and expert knowledge about problems and their solutions via a mobile app (smartphone or smartwatch) at the right time for the entire staff on the shopfloor. This significantly reduces downtime and the variation of productivity between different shifts around the clock. Typical use cases of our customers are in the field of automated and linked assembly lines for consumer electronics, automated medical device production, primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging lines / fill & and finishing lines as well as various production lines for automotive component production and assembly.

This is exactly where the plus10 software comes in: With the plus10 software tools, many short stops and malfunctions are made visible, causes are allocated and can be eliminated.

Darwin, the Machine Performance Finder, offers several intelligent functions to identify concrete optimization potentials of an automated production line or production machine during operations on basis of controller data (PLC, RC and NC data). In this way, Darwin significantly increases the performance level of machines by reducing cycle times or eliminating bottlenecks. This works well for example in complex manufacturing lines containing dozens of production or assembly steps. Those lines are theoretically perfectly balanced but in reality, the dynamic bottleneck is constantly shifting from one process to another. By knowing the overall output contraining process, troubleshooting and optimization actions can be prioritized in real-time.

Typical use cases for the Darwin functionality as intelligent machine benchmark are similar injection molding or blow molding machines as well as series production with milling, turning, grinding, stamping, and deep-drawing machines.

Hopper addresses scrap and cycle time of complex production processes such as injection molding or blow molding. Hence it addresses the product quality created by automated production equipment. The Process Parameter Recommender generates situational recommendations for best-possible machine settings under the prevailing production conditions in order to keep scrap and cycle time as low as possible. With the Recipe Benchmark, the machine settings are identified for producing highest possible output under consideration of the general conditions. Hopper significantly increases the rate of good parts produced per hour, for example in elastomer, thermoplastic and thermoset injection molding and for materials that are difficult to process, e.g. post-consumer plastics, recyclates or highly hygroscopic materials.

After the initial setup phase, it takes about one week to train the system on the specific use case in average. During that week we also explain and demonstrate how to interact with Shannon®, Hopper or Darwin to all responsible employees and operators during all shifts. Everybody must see a benefit in using it and must understand that the system keeps on learning over time based on the situational user feedback. In summary, you get first insights, results, and situational recommendations right after starting the first week of operations.

Shannon® is available for the following devices and operating systems:

  • Android Smartphones via Google Playstore
  • iOS Smartphones or iPods via App Store
  • Apple Watch (watchOS) via App Store
  • Web-Browser

The Shannon® app can either be downloaded on individual devices or centrally managed via a mobile device management (MDM).

The knowledge and experiences of employees (maintenance, operators, process experts etc.) are collected situationally “on-the-fly” via smartphone/smartwatch/tablet to associate their expert knowledge as new solutions to dedicated problems. In this way, solutions can be suggested when the corresponding cause happens. Operators can add text, pictures with marking or short videos to the solution using the smartphone or smartwatch.

The user experience (UX) design is optimized for the target group of operating staff so that the relevant information is communicated as simple as possible. In addition, plus10 continuously conducts user tests in manufacturing environments and thus keeps on optimizing the interface. By the way, we already won well-known UX-awards for our interfaces.

The plus10 software tools provide bidirectional interfaces either by sharing a database or by native protocols to neighbouring IT-systems. We can share for example KPIs that are continuously calculated regarding the performance, root causes and update your planning, actual and target figures with a real-time and impartial input. Your production planning and scheduling will become much more accurate based on the feedback of Darwin, Hopper and Shannon®.
We currently support different PLC/NC types. Get more information on our supported controllers here or ask us about compability to your MES / ERP system.

Seamless integration of plus10 software tools in your existing IT-landscape is a key aspect for us since we want to facilitate and speed-up communication. Darwin, Hopper and Shannon® provide functionalities to integrate your maintenance department in the loop of efficient problem solving and elimination of recurring unplanned events based on automatically generated maintenance orders.

Data acquisition & pre-processing: DataCollector

plus10 is acquiring the data of production machines directly from all integrated machine controllers (PLC, NC), robot controller (RC), etc. of a production machine or from all controllers integrated in a production line. Therefore, we use our plus10 DataCollector to gather the data in high frequency from all involved PLC, NC and/or RC. Up to now, we can acquire high frequency machine data using different vendor specific PLC protocols and we are continuously adding more protocols. Get more information on our supported controllers here or ask us about the compatibility to your specific controller type.

In case you already have a high-performance IT-infrastructure rolled out in your factory, we also offer to connect to your middleware.

Basically, plus10 acquires and processes all machine controller (PLC) data of the production machines or production line in high frequency. The high sampling rate (we talk about milliseconds) is required in order to detect and allocate root causes of problems and not only their subsequent effects. In some cases, the RC and NC data of e.g. handling robots are required additionally. Hence no additional sensors or cameras need to be installed in the standard case.

The plus10 software tools are flexible regarding the IT infrastructure. The data acquisition and pre-processing are continuously running locally e.g. on an industrial edge device or a virtual machine inside the machine controller network. For the next stage, plus10 adapts to your preferred solution: we can offer a cloud environment for our software tools or they are executed on a virtual machine on-premise in your existing factory-internal data center. Both is possible and we have experience in both options.

We only process your data coming from your machine either locally in your factory or on a cloud-based infrastructure hosted in your region which includes encrypted data traffic. For more information about IT-security and data privacy feel free to contact us.

No, this is not a problem. You will find all machine controllers that are currently compatible here.

Your PLCs are not listed yet? Contact us to clarify with our development pipeline launches of new interfaces.

Installation

Shannon®, Hopper and Darwin are available as Software-as-a-Service and are hosted on Microsoft Azure in the plus10-subscription. In addition, our software can run in a customer-specific cloud infrastructure or as a on-premise solution.
For Shannon®, there are apps available for Android and iOS (incl. watchOS).

It depends on the type of machine controller (PLC) and the existing IT-infrastructure. If the connectivity to all PLC exists and you provide the computational infrastructure (either as a local virtual machine or as a dedicated server), the installation and configuration can be done remotely. In that case the training of operators on Shannon®, Hopper or Darwin still remains as on-site effort but can be virtualized as video training session as well as in case of pandemic lockdowns or access restrictions.

Pricing

The plus10 pricing is divided into two packages: the one-time onboarding that comprises the initial installation, configuration and go-live. Afterwards there is an annual license fee for our software services. The annual license contains updates and standard support. Both depends on the amount and types of integrated machine controllers and complexity of the production machines or production line.

Our annual license fee includes standard support and software updates to the latest version of the ordered software-service(s). Hence with a plus10 software license of Darwin, Hopper or Shannon® we guarantee the latest, most efficient and most user-friendly version of our optimization tools. In fact, we handle worldwide production plants, in which our software tools are installed.